Donald Grant’s Cobbling Shop was located on the narrow curving road at Loch Garry Road, as described in
by Robert J. Fraser. The village hub also included an ashery, a type of factory that converts hardwood ashes into lye used to make soap, potash, or pearlash, which can be used for baking.
The Loch Garry store was built as an addition to a log cabin, with a Canadian-made iron box stove. The post office was established inside the store.
Popular treats were Dundee crackers. Some of the items for sale also included horseshoes, at two shillings and sixpence, under the Canadian Pound currency system that lasted until 1858. The storekeeper often visited neighbouring communities such as Martintown or Lancaster to obtain supplies.
Cake or a pipe went for a penny, soap cost only sixpence, and shoe hemp sold for five pence.
The first paper in the county, was launched in the early 1800s. During this time, tea sold for 40 cents, now in the new currency, and flour for $2.90 to $3.15 per 100 pounds.
Loch Garry Village boasted one of the first of five Catholic churches in North Glengarry, located on lot 26 of the Third of Kenyon, according to Mr. Flockton, who alluded to the book by Royce MacGillivray and Ewan Ross. The church’s pastor was Rev J. S. O’Connor.
Loch Garry Village also had a school with teacher Donald McPherson providing instruction to the students.
The village included an inn operated by John McDonald as well as shoemaking services by Donald Grant and Alexander McDonell.
Located eight miles from Alexandria, the village had a population of about 100 people, based on
publication by Henry McEvoy. Loch Garry Village was located at the intersection that leads to Masterson Beach. Later in the 1940s Loch Garry and Masterson Beach became known as a cottage community, an oasis for Glengarry area residents.
After Confederation, Glengarry began to experience a growth in population and an “urbanization.”
However, in North Glengarry, Alexandria had the greatest growth in numbers while the neighbouring villages were not able to expand, lacking the “productivity that support the services the towns provide.”
“That’s an overall blanket statement about why a lot of these villages and townships failed to really go much anywhere,” says Mr. Flockton. “I’ve heard many times before that Apple Hill was the reason for the demise of Loch Garry Village.”
Robert J. Fraser writes that Loch Garry Village’s store and village homes had been “rich in legend and history,” adding that the store was a gathering place for story-tellers. When the store closed around 1885, proprietor James Fraser began promoting the local cheese factory.
Mr. Fraser served as an elder of the Alexandria Presbyterian Church as well as the Burns Church in Martintown, based on Glengarry Historical Society past-president David Anderson’s research. His son, also named James Fraser, was auditor general of Canada from 1908 to 1920.
ANOTHER VOCATION: One of the region’s most prominent places of worship, St. Finnan’s Cathedral in Alexandria has another vocation -- its steeple serves as a support for communications equipment. Work crews were getting a lot of attention last week as they employed a crane to install a new cellular phone antenna on the bell tower.
MARKER:A plaque commemorates Loch Garry Village.